By now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with (and maybe sick of) my love of guerilla, deviant and fully-sanctioned street art. For a designer, and maker of generally very small things, I certainly do love an oversized piece of obtrusive art on a building or wall. Richmond must have felt me losing interest in our ebbing and flowing art scene, because we are about to play host to a group of muralists and street artists from all over the place – coming here to (re)decorate several blocks of our flood wall, now that our outdated, faded-out, historically-themed banners have come down. This will all be taking place near what has been recently dubbed the Shockoe Design District, below our main Downtown area.
To be totally honest, I’m not entirely clear on what the Shockoe Design District is. Is it a bunch of merchants that happen to be design-related? Is it a geographical location? Is it a series of events? Is it all of the above? What I do know is that the SDD has held two events called Shockoe Design Day, where the Virginia Street Gallery played host to talks, tastings, gallery shows and retail sales. Pretty cool idea, but I’d like a little more information. My understanding was that this most recent event was about American furniture, which was not enough to get me downtown in the rain on a Saturday! I have Google and a re-upholstery project at home, if I want to learn about furniture in the rain. Little info is currently on the SDD website or their Facebook page, so I’ve been scouring the local news for info, with not a lot of detail to be found. I need a vision statement and purpose, people. I’m too A Type (or just lazy?) for this “show up and find out” nonsense!
So anyway, back to the murals! I guess the event is being called the RVA Street Festival. The mural project is part of the G40 Art Summit being held in Richmond this year, that will also include a massive series of gallery shows “to benefit humanitarian missions around the world.” I’m going to check out as much of this stuff as time allows, mainly because it’s all so vague and I’m dying of curiosity! These events are all, theoretically, set to coincide with the official naming of Richmond’s Art District (or Arts District, or ArtBusiness District, depending on the source you reference…) Geographically, this area does not appear to overlap with the Shockoe Design District and/or the mural project. But the idea and sentiment do, for sure.
Photo of muralist Mickael Broth work on 2nd and Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia
In other mostly-related news, I read that photographer Martha Cooper is in Richmond, though in true local news fashion, I have no idea what this means other than I might walk right past her in a bar or something. I read that she’s here for the G40, but is she exhibiting, photographing, speaking? If you’re not familiar, Ms. Cooper famously documented graffiti and graffiti artists in New York years ago. Cool stuff for sure.
The G40 website has the list of exhibits, shows and muralists and a schedule if you’re interested.